By Melanie Robitaille, Sr. Staff Writer & Graphic Designer
When you think of making money from your home, does that conjure immediate thoughts of selling potential? If you love where you live, or can’t move, there are several ways to generate income, no sale required.
Ever thought of an income property? Whether converting space already within your home, or by adding on (attached or detached), this is a popular way people earn money according to Johnny Luis, a contractor turned property investor.
“The first and most important thing you should be starting with is running numbers to see if the project makes sense money wise,” he said. “The next thing I would research is zoning. If you’ve decided to renovate the property, especially to a duplex or triplex, it’s good to know if bylaws will allow you to do so, then you can run the construction budget to see if your initial numbers will make sense.”
He also recommends thinking big picture as to what’s most efficient for your best ROI and improved curb appeal, but will also require the least maintenance saying, “If you renovate a basement and turn it in to a two-bedroom home vs. adding a garage to a one bedroom; a second bedroom will typically garner a higher return rather than a garage. Also, to construct a garage with an apartment may cost a lot more than converting a basement to a legal unit. If you’re going down the rental path, a best practice is also to install materials that are durable against water and pets.”
You can use one of the many property maintenance apps available to screen tenants and handle all administrative landlord tasks in one place, or consider other family members looking to downsize or launch who can still contribute financially. If having a stranger living full-time in your space or on your property isn’t for you, you could also lease it out as an office space for a local business professional or use the new space for your personal creative studio or workshop for an income generating hobby.
Another part-time income generating use of your space is through Short Term Rentals (STRs). Whether you want to create a full-fledged bed and breakfast or simply offer occasional boarding for business travelers, new residents, or students, there are plenty of popular online platforms you can join to help promote and market your space. Be sure to check with your local municipality and/or applicable condo board or HOA for any restrictions.
Understand that some of these options may require that you leave your home entirely, while others require your onsite participation for things like meal prep, serving, housekeeping, and any other services you wish to offer guests. You can set limits on when your property is available, the number of guests, even whether you’re pet-friendly.